Health Corner: What’s the Buzz with Energy Drinks?

Leah Cummings

College students have busy schedules. Balancing social lives and homework assignments can be hectic and tiring, and those early morning alarms may cause some of us to cringe. It makes sense that many college students rely on caffeinated beverages to help get it all done! 

Many are turning to Monster Energy, Bang Energy, Full Throttle, Red Bull, Rockstar and more to get that rush of energy. Sometimes these drinks are replacing much-needed sleep. At Millikin University, there are several locations to get coffee, tea, or energy drinks in order to get students through their day. 

While these beverages may seem like a quick and easy way to boost energy and focus, are they safe? Are caffeinated beverages helping or hindering students’ ability to focus in class and meet their academic goals? Can too many cans of energy drinks in a day lead to detrimental cardiac problems? Don’t test those waters!  

Overstimulation of the heart can cause chest palpitations…caffeine stimulates the heart!

While many college students think that caffeine helps them study or stay awake for class, it may have the opposite effect. According to the Journal of Education and Development, caffeine can have a negative effect on decision-making and focus. The very outcome that students desire may be made more elusive by caffeine consumption. 

“Nutrition and Dietetics” published a study showing that the use of energy drinks in particular is on the rise in students. Sometimes students consume more than one per day. This study demonstrated that the use of caffeine, including energy drinks, can cause sleep disturbances. Adequate sleep is important not only for clear thinking, but for mood and overall health.

While it may be easy to grab a quick beverage to pick up energy levels, other methods may be more effective and safe. Eating a healthy breakfast, getting enough sleep, and regular exercise can help elevate mood and increase energy levels without the risks associated with caffeine intake. 

As more students become reliant on caffeine to get through the day, it is important to point out that caffeine can actually work against them. For healthier alternatives to caffeine, check out Healthline’s website: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-boost-energy.